Creating an e-course has never been easier, especially these days when practically anyone with a smartphone can just film a few instructional videos and upload them on a website. However, if your goal is to create a lucrative online program that students will actually commit to and learn from, then it’s important to provide your audience with a more structured format. In this episode, Gene Marks and Joey Korenman, the founder at the School of Motion and the co-founder of Rolo, discuss how small business owners can develop an online educational model that not only fosters accountability, but also prepares its students to work professionally.

Podcast Key Highlights

  • What Is Motion Design?
    • Motion design is a subset of animation and graphic design.
    • It basically refers to any digital graphics that are designed to move rather than remain static.
  • Who Typically Takes Classes From the School of Motion?
    • Most of the people who decide to take classes with the School of Motion are professionals who understand how to use basic animation software, but may have missed out on the fundamentals and principles that they would have learned at art school.
    • They usually take courses in the art of animation and design to improve the quality of their work.
  • How Is the School of Motion Different From Other Online Programs?
    • The School of Motion charges a higher fee than most online classes to increase student motivation and accountability rates. (It’s been proven that students are more likely to finish a course if they’ve invested a lot of money to take it.)
    • There is also assigned homework to ensure that students are actually absorbing and applying the information properly. Students need to complete 70% of their homework in order to qualify for a credential.
    • In contrast to other online educational platforms that only focus on getting people to buy their classes, the School of Motion recognizes that having committed students who actually finish their courses is a better long-term business strategy since those clients will be able to vouch for the quality of their course materials and generate even more customers for them via
      word of mouth and online reviews.
  • How Does the School of Motion’s Educational Model Work?
    • Unlike other online schools that give you all the information at once, the School of Motion utilizes a drip feeding approach with a structured timeline, so that students feel like their classes are taking place right in the moment.
    • Their structure also resembles the grad school model, where an instructor teaches you, but your homework assignments are critiqued by a teaching assistant.
  • How Are Classes Delivered?
    • Video Lessons
    • Podcasts
    • PDF’s
    • LMS (Learning Management System)
  • What Type of Artistic Credentialing Does the School of Motion Offer?
    • While they do offer basic credentialing when you complete at least 70% of the course, they won’t go as far as to vouch for their students.
    • Vouching would require some form of testing or interview process and those would be difficult to scale; furthermore, from an industry standpoint, the stakes simply are not high enough to warrant that degree of testing.
  • How Have the Courses Offered by the School of Motion Changed Over the Years?
    • The production value of their courses has had to significantly improve just to stay competitive with YouTube’s high-caliber free content.
    • They’ve also focused more on the interactive elements of their courses, including access to their community.
  • What Is Rolo and Why Was It Founded?
    • Rolo is essentially an animation talent discovery tool.
    • It was built to help agencies and studios find freelance animators who could fit their specific needs.
    • For quality control purposes, all artists have to apply in order to be accepted onto the platform.
    • It’s designed as a fully automated visual search tool that enables you to sort through the database and see examples of all the artists’ work, as well as their profiles.



The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are for informational purposes only, and solely those of the podcast participants, contributors, and guests, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of The Hartford or its affiliates.

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Gene: Hey everybody, it’s Gene Marks, and welcome back to another episode of the Small Biz Ahead podcast. Thank you so much for joining me, whether you’re watching us on YouTube or on video, or you’re just listening to us. We’re thrilled that you guys are here.

Gene: My guest today is Joey Korenman. Joey is the founder at the School of Motion and the co-founder of Rolo. Joey is also an investor, an author, a speaker and advisor. We have a lot of stuff to talk about with Joey today. So first of all, Joey, thank you very much for joining us.

Joey: Well, thank you for having me, Gene. It’s an honor to be here. I really appreciate it.

Gene: Yeah. I am glad to have you here. Where are you speaking to us from?

Joey: I’m in south Florida, just outside of Sarasota. It’s on the west side of Florida, the gulf coast, the pretty coast we call it.

Gene: Know it well. Yeah, Sarasota is a booming place and a beautiful place to live, so good for you. It’s a good part of the world.

Gene: So okay, let’s talk a little bit about you and your businesses to get things started. So tell us a little bit about both School of Motion and also Rolo, which I know is a new venture of yours as well.

Joey: Sure. So School of Motion is the primary business and that business is about 10 years old now. We can get as detailed into the story of it as you like, but at this point it’s an online school that runs a certain type of online course.

Joey: Most people are familiar with the concept of taking an online course. You put your credit card number in, and then maybe you pay a subscription fee, and you get a bunch of videos, and you can watch them or you cannot watch them. The company generally doesn’t care. They just want your money.

Joey: So what we do is we actually run courses where there is homework, and they’re interactive, and you’re going through the class at the exact same time as other people, and we’ve built technology to allow us to sort of scale that and do it that way. So we’ve been doing classes like that for about eight years, and at this point we’ve now essentially become I think the largest online school for motion designers, with is sort of a subset of animation and graphic design.

Gene: A little bit more on that.

Joey: Yeah.

Gene: Alyssa was trying to explain to me, our producer, she was trying to explain to me what motion design is and I’m like it’s like this. Explain to me like who are your customers? Who are your students that are coming to your classes?

Joey: Sure. It’s funny, even within motion designers it’s almost impossible to define what motion design is, so I’ll do my best. The way I look at it is if my grandma asked me, “Hey, Joey, what is it that you do again,” I might say, “Oh, I’m an animator,” because that’s technically what I did in my previous life doing client work.

Joey: Now when I say animator, Gene, I’m assuming what you imagine is like a Pixar movie or a Disney movie, right? Characters moving around and storytelling, right? So that’s one kind of animation. But there’s this other kind that people… You see it everywhere you look, you just don’t really think of it as animation. So that would be… I don’t know if you’re a sports fan, but if you’re watching a football game and there’s all these animated graphics appearing telling you the score, telling you that it’s first down, second down, someone has to design and animate those, okay? So that’s motion design. That’s kind of one way of looking at it.

Joey: Or if I turn on a commercial and there’s a bottle flying around and you hear a voiceover and then at the end the logo is revealed and it’s this beautiful thing… There’s no characters. There’s no story. It’s an advertisement. Well, someone has to design and animate that too, so that’s also motion design.

Gene: So this is like… It’s a graphic design, particularly in a video world, where the graphics are moving at some point? That’s part of that? So it’s not just like a static thing?

Joey: Yeah.

Gene: And that’s considered to be like motion design I guess? Am I describing it correctly?

Joey: You are. And actually up until probably 10 years ago the term was motion graphics. That’s what people would refer to that as.

Gene: Yeah.

Joey: And if you look around now… I mean if you open your phone and you push a button and an app opens and something animates, that… Again, someone had to figure out okay, how should it move and actually create that animation, so that’s also motion design. So now motion design is expanding into other worlds that aren’t just passive sort of ads that you’re watching.

Gene: Got it. Okay. So that’s really great. We’re going to get to Rolo soon, I promise you, but the people that are coming to your platform, these are people that want to learn how to build those kinds of graphics. Is that correct?

Joey: Exactly. So it’s a wide variety of people, as you can imagine. I mean one of our first customers that ever took a class is actually a dentist, oddly enough, that just thought oh, this seems really cool, I’d like to learn how to animate.

Joey: So most of our students now are already professionals, so we’re… I have very strong opinions about the value of college and art school in our industry, so we can get into that if you want to.

Gene: I have a feeling what they are.

Joey: Yeah. Yeah. But we’re not specifically trying to go after like 18-year-olds and say, “Hey, skip college. Take our classes instead,” although I have had that conversation. So most of the people that are taking classes are already professionals, and the thing about motion design, which it might be unique to motion design… I kind of don’t think it is with the way education works now.

Joey: The thing about it is you can get your first job as a motion designer simply by like watching YouTube videos that teach you enough about how to do these things and then you can get your first job, and then you feel great, because now I’m a professional. But then you look around and you’re like, “Why does my work not look very good? I’m looking at all these brilliant artists and their work is amazing, and I know the same software as them. Why isn’t my work good?”

Joey: So that’s where basically it’s because you missed art school, you missed the fundamentals, the principles. So most of our students are people looking for that. They may know the software already, but they don’t understand why is my work not good, so we teach them like the art of animation, the art of design. These are art forms that sort of layer on top of the technical side.

Gene: Give me an example of a class that you offer and tell me like a typical student that would attend one of those classes.

Joey: Sure. So our two most popular classes I can tell you. One teaches a software called After Effects. A lot of our software is made by Adobe. Adobe After Effects is the most widely used animation software on earth, and it’s used a lot for exactly the type things I was describing, creating titles that appear, advertisements and stuff like this.

Joey: So there are lots and lots and lots and lots, like way more video editors out there than there are motion designers, which is a much bigger field. Video editors, when I started my career, could get away with just being a video editor. You get footage, you edit it. Oh, we need some graphics? Someone else does that. That’s not the way it works now.

Joey: Now you’re expected to also know how to do that, so that’s one big cohort, our video editors who are now being asked to also design and animate things. They’ve never been taught how, so we can teach you how to do that.

Joey: The second most popular course is called Animation Bootcamp, and this is exactly what I was describing before. It’s artists who are already using After Effects. They know the software part, but they never learned the art form of animation, and there’s a lot to it obviously. So that’s more of like a fundamental class, the type of thing you would learn if you went to an art school.

Gene: Are the classes themselves… How long in duration are they? If I sign up for one of these courses is this like a month long thing? Is it a three months long thing? Are they live? Are they prerecorded? How do your students consume the content?

Joey: Sure. Okay. This might be interesting to your audience too.

Gene: First of all, I find it interesting myself. There’s a lot of people in our audience that are online, they are producing content online. It’s a form of content that is being produced. So I ultimately want to go like how you’re doing this so that we can learn from that for our own content, whether or not we’re doing courses or not.

Joey: So I’ll tell you sort of the secret sauce. First of all, as far as the length goes, so the classes vary in length, and we do that on purpose. So like a beginner class, where we’re teaching the software that you need to know in order to then do the next class, we tend to make those a little bit shorter, because we look at it like we want people to have some amount of buy-in, I actually do want to go deeper. So like a beginner class for us is eight weeks, and then like a more advanced class might be 12 weeks, okay?

Gene: Okay.

Joey: Okay, so how are we actually deploying this content? Our model is unique. There actually is another business that I’m in the process of starting to sort of leverage this.

Joey: One of the issues that I saw when I started School of Motion was that there’s a lot of companies out there, there’s LinkedIn Learning and there’s Skill Sharing and there’s places like this where there’s just this fire hose of content. Some of it is really, really good too. Some of it is not. You have to dig through it.

Joey: But there’s a problem. The problem is how much does it cost you? As a consumer it costs 10 bucks a month, maybe 20 bucks a month. These things tend to always be on sale too, so the perceived value is very low. The problem with that is that you may say I want to learn this software, well the software is complicated. It’s not going to be easy for you to learn it no matter how good the class. It’s difficult.

Joey: So if you’re paying $20 it’s pretty easy for you to just procrastinate and not actually watch the content and not actually do the difficult stuff, which is like watch it and then try to go apply it, actually go make something, right?

Joey: So one of the things that… I think I may have gotten this from like a Tim Ferriss book or something, but the thing needs to be expensive, not just so that it makes the business more viable, but also so that the student has some skin in the game and is actually going to do the work. Okay, so now I have…

Gene: And there is perception, and Ferriss was right about this, you get what you pay for. People are going to be paying more for a BMW. I mean they know they have an option of buying a Honda Accord, but you’re paying more for a BMW because you’re supposedly getting a BMW, with that much better quality, and there is something to be said for that.

Joey: I think it’s deeper than that. I think it’s deeper than that though, Gene. Like that’s for sure true, and if you look at one of our courses and you compare the quality of what you get versus like another platform, ours I would say is much, much higher.

Gene: Right.

Joey: But actually that’s not why we make the classes expensive. We make them expensive because if we don’t people will not finish them. There has to be enough pain, otherwise… And it’s kind of a counterintuitive thing, but that’s one of the reasons we do it that way.

Gene: And it’s funny that you bring that up as well, because most people that are selling online education or online videos or online content, they’re thrilled that like somebody is signing up for it and paying $20 a month. But in the end if that person is not walking away with any value they’re not going to refer other people to your platform. You’re not going to get good reviews. You won’t get return business.

Gene: So you’re right. By making it that much more expensive and making people have skin in the game you’re forcing them to do what they got to do, so they walk away with a good experience. They can look back and say, “I learned. I got knowledge from doing it.”

Joey: That is exactly it.

Gene: It’s a great model. And, again, people that are listening or watching this should know that if they’re providing content to their customers, whether it’s training or just straight out content, charging for it is not a bad thing. You want to make sure that it’s just not all about people clicking, but it’s people walking away with good information, the content that you’re providing, so it’s valuable to them.

Joey: Yeah. Exactly. I look at it like when someone pays that… So our flagship courses are $1,000, and when someone pays $1,000 they’re not… In their mind they may think okay, what I’m paying for is the content. In my mind that’s not what they’re paying for. What they’re actually paying for is the story they get to tell themselves now, I’m the type of person who will spend $1,000 to work on my skills and get better, and that’s super motivating.

Joey: So we have a completion rate in our beginner classes… And the way we measure this, by the way, just for people listening is we have homework in our classes. You actually have to turn in work and get critique and all that from professional artists. So you have to do at least 70% of that, so we count it as okay, you’ve completed the course. Most students watch all of the content, but we want you to do at least 70% of the exercises that we’re assigning, and then if you do that we give you a credential.

Joey: So our percentage of students that do that on average is about 50%. In the beginner classes it’s higher, because the assignments are a little bit less strenuous. The average completion rate for a normal online course is in single digit percentage. I’ve heard as low as 6 or 8%, right?

Gene: Yeah.

Joey: I think a lot of it because of price. So when you think a thousand bucks, I’m putting up a thousand bucks, I am into this. I’m going to take full advantage of it.

Gene: You mentioned like getting homework. So how are your classes delivered? Again, there are some content… And, by the way, I don’t want to put you into some kind of pigeonhole, like you’re a content provider. I get it. It’s way more than that. It isn’t just like delivering content. A lot of people think just throwing up a lot of YouTube videos and making them available is the way to like that’s how people are going to learn.

Gene: At my company we sell software products, like CRM products, so a lot of the vendors that we represent… Which are great, Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft, if you want to learn how to use it you just go and you watch videos and that’s it. They kind of leave it at that. Yours is a lot more than that. So how do you deliver for content?

Joey: Yeah. So I’ll tell you how we deliver it and then tell you why too. For those classes, the way we deliver it is the learning material itself, the videos… And we use different kinds of media, so mostly video lessons, which you’d expect, but I’m also a big fan of including podcasts, just audio only content, as part of a class. My goal is to saturate your brain. I want your brain literally just swimming in this content, for 12 weeks that’s all you’re thinking about.

Joey: So on the days where there’s no video lesson I want you listening to an interview with an artist, or I want you listening to the instructor of the class telling you about their journey. I really want to saturate people. We use PDFs and things like this. So we have a learning management system, an LMS is the term people use, and there’s many out there. You can go pay 100 bucks a month for Teachable and put your own class out there.

Joey: What makes ours different is it’s designed around what are typically called cohort based classes. So in the world of learning management systems there are sort of instant access courses. There is classes that are done basically live, where you pay your fee and you get a Zoom call once a week or something like that. Ours is in the middle. Ours is hybrid. That’s much harder to do, but it scales.

Gene: What does that mean?

Joey: Okay, so here’s what it means. So the material itself is prerecorded.

Gene: Okay.

Joey: Okay? And we spend months making these classes, and invest heavily into them and make them really good. But then when you sign up for that class you don’t get the class right away. You have to wait. There’s a start date. So what actually you’re signing up for is, for example, the winter 2024 session of Animation Bootcamp.

Joey: So you sign up. Every student that’s signed up… So right now we’re in the middle of our fall session, and in the Animation Bootcamp class there’s 250 something student’s in there. So they all bought at different times, but they all started on the same day. I believe it was October 9th.

Joey: So on that day our LMS unlocked the first day of content. Everybody gets the email, “Go check out day one.” And then on the next day you have more content online. So that’s called drip feeding. Other LMS can do that, but it’s not very typical, because I think there’s this perception that when someone buys it they want the whole thing. Give it to them, right? And I look at it the other way.

Joey: The way when I first kind of came up with the contents for how our courses would work, my model was actually Disney World. If you go and you get on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I picked a ride hopefully everyone is familiar with, you get on this boat and then you start going through a cave and then a pirate comes out and starts talking to you, and then a cannonball flies by. As you go through this experience it feels like this is happening to me right now. It’s not. It’s prerecorded, and they have technology that just plays that same sequence of events over and over and over again. That’s how they scale and make money.

Joey: So I thought if we could do that with a course, where it feels like no, no, no, you’re in class right now, this person is talking to you, and we do that through like sort of the construction of the course, we also have student groups that every student in your session is in, and then we hire what we call teaching assistants. It’s essentially the grad school model, where the instructor is teaching you, but when you get a homework assignment the instructor is not the one actually critiquing it. It’s a grad student essentially, and for us that’s a professional artist that we hire and we train.

Joey: So in every lesson at the end of it it’s like okay, now it’s your turn. Here is your assignment. And we’ll give them files and designs, whatever they need to do it, and then our platform allows them to upload their work and we can draw right over it. You know in animations pretty typically you draw over the frames with notes, and so…

Gene: Let me interrupt you again. It’s a great model. I’m assuming that when people are signing up for this kind of education they’re self-motivated to do it. They’re there for a reason. So has there ever been any discussion or need to test those students as they go along? Like in other words you can’t go on to the next day until you prove this, you know what I mean, to get it to the next level? Or is that something where you just put it aside and said no our students are here, if they’re motivated or not?

Joey: We’ve never done that, and mostly it’s like a business decision, because we’ve had conversations about having credentials, right? So we have credentials if you complete 70% of the class, so essentially they’ve completed this class. But we haven’t gone further than that to say, okay, we will vouch for this artist. To do that we actually would have to test them. We would have to do that somehow, and doing that at scale is pretty difficult, especially with sort of a business model we have, which is we don’t have investors, we’re full bootstrapped, we have to be profitable, and it’s like a more competitive landscape now.

Joey: So we’re trying to sort of ride that knife edge. Okay, listen, anyone who wants to can buy the class. You could literally buy the class and do nothing and nothing happens to you, okay? We’ll take your money. I don’t know why you would do that, but we’ll take it. But we really try to push students, but we can’t force people to do anything. That’s kind of how we look at it.

Gene: Got it. Again, this is… You give credentials, and I don’t know if there’s any regulations from an industry standpoint for graphic designers, motion designers. And, again, as a CPA, when I take online classes there are… And I’m not kidding. They interrupt and test… You have to like answer questions as the class is going on or you don’t get CPE credit for the class. I mean it’s that much more stringent. All of that sounds like a big pain in the neck. It’s still like okay, so you earn that CPE credit. It’s a profession, and you want to make sure, like you’d want your doctor making sure that they’re not snoozing during these courses or whatever.

Gene: So I just don’t know if your industry ever evolves to that level, where walking away with that credential of the School of Motion really means that, you know, were these guys really put through the wringer to get that credential. You know what I mean?

Joey: Yeah. I think my gut is that the difference is that the stakes are much, much higher if you’re an accountant or something like that, right?

Gene: Yeah. Right.

Joey: If you get it wrong your clients can get audited, right? Like you could probably go to jail.

Gene: Right.

Joey: And in the world of design animation the stakes are lower. And the other thing too, I think this is actually the key difference, because I sort of hinted, and you could probably guess what my thoughts are on college and the value of it and all that.

Gene: Yes, I can.

Joey: I still do believe… Like my father was a surgeon, right, until he retired. I don’t want my surgeon to have watched YouTube videos to learn to be a surgeon, right? The states are too high. And also I can’t go… I don’t think even if you’re a really good doctor you could just go like interview a surgeon and know how good of a doctor they are, and you probably don’t have time to sit and watch them do a hundred surgeries either. You need some shorthand. You need a way to know this person actually knows what they’re doing.

Joey: With design animation, I can tell you within 10 seconds of looking at someone’s work if they know what they’re doing or not. So the way that hiring is done is very, very different. You can scale hiring much easier with a visual art like this, so I’m not sure that the value of testing that is ever going to be as high as it is for say a lawyer, something where the stakes are really high.

Gene: Got it. Do you feel that… I want to apologize, because I know you’re an investor and a co-founder of Rolo and we’re just talking about School of Motion here, but the platform fascinates me. I’m just wondering on your School of Motion platform do you feel that it’s changed much over the years? It seems that delivering education just by the typical webinar is such a snooze nowadays, and I do find where people, education providers, content providers, are looking to do something more dynamic.

Gene: Maybe you’re in front of a green screen and pointing to different things or talking more, like you and I are talking, but more of standing or walking around, or in a studio or something like that. Have you dallied in that? Is that where some of your courses are going to be now or where they’re going to go, like the way you’re delivering this information has changed over the years?

Joey: Well, as far as production value goes, so like having green screens and extra cameras and all of that, we always try to kind of up that to a certain level. I think the biggest change I’ve seen is just that when we started doing this the idea of a cohort based course was still pretty new. There was not really any competition, but on top of that it was much easier to say that the quality of our videos that you’re going to get if you buy this class are really high, and our main competitor to this day is YouTube.

It’s free content, right? And the quality of free content has gotten so good that just to match what the average YouTuber is able to do you have to know what you’re doing and you have to be able to invest.

Joey: So I don’t think it’s enough anymore to just say I know what I’m talking about and the content was produced well. I think there has to be more. So I think that what you see with a lot of sort of independent creators that put out their class, they’re putting the class out as part of like a brand strategy, like this is my brand and now you get to go deeper into my brand, and I’m going to have a private chat room, where I’ll be in there sometimes, and people like you are going to be in there. Really that’s what people are buying. The content itself is almost secondary to some of those things. So we’ve kind of doubled down on the interactive part, and access to our community and all that kind of stuff.

Joey: It’s kind of like Peloton, where people sign up for different Peloton instructors because they’re maybe getting their own sort of brand and celebrity, and attracting people obviously to the Peloton platform.

Gene: All right. I can’t let you go without talking a little bit about Rolo.

Joey: Sure.

Gene: Explain to me about what Rolo does and why you founded it.

Joey: Yeah. Sure. So as the founder of School of Motion, you can imagine I get emails all the time from animation studio owners and advertising agency people saying, “Hey, we need an animator. We need someone who knows this software, and has this skill, and is good at this kind of thing, and this lives in this time zone. Do you have anybody?”

Joey: We have over, I think at this point, 22-23,000 alumni from School of Motion courses, and then our audience is far bigger. I think we’re close to half a million subscribers on YouTube. We have a pretty big audience, a big reach. So I know yes, I absolutely have the perfect artist in my network. I have absolutely no idea how to identify them. That was the problem. So what I wanted was some sort of database potentially that I could just like have every artist in our audience fill out a quick thing and now I can easily find people, and I found out that it didn’t exist.

Joey: So I started talking to… Actually it’s an interesting problem from a business perspective. You’ve got agencies and studios, and they have a staff, but generally they try to keep their staff as small as possible and hire freelancers to scale up when needed, and everyone has their own unique method of tracking which freelancers they like, and this freelancer can do this kind of job but not this kind of job, or this kind of person is good working by themselves but not in a group, and there was like no solution that everyone uses.

Joey: So I thought well how hard could it be to build one? I looked around at off-the-shelf software, Airtable and stuff like that, and nothing really existed that did what we wanted. So a buddy of mine from the industry, he’s actually the design director for one of the biggest studies on earth, they’re called Buck, and they’re global, and he was trying to sort of solve the same problem for Buck. I said, “Well, listen, I’ve got this idea.” I sort of had cobbled together something and I showed it to him, and he was like, “Oh, I have the exact same idea. Why don’t we partner on this?”

Joey: It’s essentially a talent database. There’s a few differences about it. One is it’s very tailored to exactly the problem I had, I need an artist who knows this software, and I want them three time zones away from me, no further, okay? And that doesn’t exist. Also I need to know they’re good, and that’s the big difference with Rolo, is artists have to apply to be accepted onto the platform.

Joey: Currently I think we’re close to 1,800 artists in 83 countries. Every single one we’ve looked at their portfolios and we can vouch for the fact that their work is good.

Gene: Can you give an examples? Say I was looking for an artist like that. Will your database accommodate me? Say show me some examples of their work?

Joey: Yeah, exactly. So the way it works is let’s say you’re looking for a video editor that can also do design and animation to create some packaging for this show on YouTube or something like that. And it would be easy if they were on the east coast of the United States, so you can really filter to that extreme level, and here’s 25 artists that perfectly fit the bill. It’s designed as a visual search tool, so you immediately see like examples of their work, and if you click on the artist it shows you more. The idea is it’s essentially like a business card from the artist. It gives you just the information you need to decide if you want to contact them and dig deeper.

Joey: And then after building that we’ve built tools to now say okay, well I like these 10 artists. I need to know who’s available right now to do it. You can click two buttons and it checks, right? So it’s a really useful sort of talent discovery and management tool for companies.

Gene: And where is it now? How mature is the platform?

Joey: So we started… I think the very first version of this, we started building it about a year ago, maybe a little bit before that, so it’s pretty new. And part of the way that we wanted to build it was… You know, I’m a bootstrap guy. I’ve never raised money. I like lifestyle businesses and doing things that way, so let’s bootstrap this thing. Let’s make it lean. Let’s automate the hell out of it. I mean it’s automated to the gills. It requires very little human intervention at this point to run the platform. And then once we get it working and we get some product market fit, let’s automate the marketing fit.

Joey: So we’re at the point where the platform is running, it’s fully automated, billing, all of that stuff. Like literally I don’t have to do anything and it runs. Then what we’re working on now is figuring out the best way to market it and the sales. So actually that’s the challenge we’re working on now, is try to get more people to actually pay for it.

Joey: We’re profitable. We have currently 14 companies using it and they all really like it, and we have a lot more companies trialing it. But we’re finding that the economic environment is tricky I guess is a good way to put it, to get people to sign up for a new subscription service.

Gene: I’ve been speaking to Joey Korenman, who is the founder of School of Motion and the co-founder of Rolo. Joey is also an investor, author, speaker and advisor. We are just scratching the surface of the things that Joey is doing and the two businesses that he’s running right now.

Gene: We’ll be back for another conversation with Joey where we’re going to discuss how he’s running these businesses, some of the mistakes that he’s made, things that he has learned, and some advice that he has that he would like to share with all of us in the Small Biz Ahead community, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, Joey, thank you so much for the first part of this conversation.

Joey: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Gene: Everybody, you have been watching the Small Biz Ahead podcast. My name is Gene Marks. If you need any advice, tips or help in running your business please join us at or On behalf of The Hartford, again, thank you very much for listening or watching, and we will see you again next time. We’ll see you back for part two of this conversation with Joey. Thanks so much.

Gene: Thanks so much for joining us on this week’s episode of The Hartford’s Small Biz Ahead podcast. If you like what you hear please give us a shout out on your favorite podcast platform. Your ratings, your views and your comments really help us formulate our topics and help us grow this podcast, so thank you so much. It’s been great spending time with you. We’ll see you again soon.

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